FC 42 - You Talk a Big Game

Do you think writers of t.v. shows ever look at the finished product and think, "Damn, that didn't turn out nearly as well as it was in my head"? Or maybe the director of, say, Jury Duty* felt the need to get up in front of audiences and apologize for what they were about to see, because although in his head, the idea was great, it just didn't make its way out properly? Well, that is my caveat for this comic. It was funny in my head.

But wouldn't that be great if somebody who liked to brag to all their friends that they could do better was put on the spot like that. Maybe it was a sports fanatic second guessing the coach's decision to run that play. Or a music nerd's questioning Microsoft's creation of the Zune. It would just be great if Bill Gates was sitting behind him on the bus*, overheard his conversation, and straight up made him in charge for a day. At least that would be funny, even if the comic isn't.

(P.S. Eyes are hard to draw, so just pretend Billy's eyes aren't creepy.)
Thursday July 24 2008File under: comic

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Sedro Frolfing

(To all of you who read the Brothers Root version of the events first, sorry for the overlap. But cross-blogination can be fun, like this counterpoint to Andrew's pic)

Summer in Anacortes means a constant flow of old friends passing through town. As a semi-full time resident*, I try to take advantage of their free time and more pressing desire to get out and enjoy what the area has to offer. The most recent case of this involved a trip up river to the NSRA Frolf Course outside of Sedro Wooley. I've been up there once before, but since the first time through a course is never ideal, I was greatly looking forward to this little excursion.

On the upside, the area of the course is gorgeous, with spectacular a backdrop of the Cascade foothills and hayfields. It is [supposedly] on the site of an old mental institution and has some old overgrown buildings to fit my creepy mental image. The course is a full 18 holes with decent terrain include varying drive lengths and a bit of vertical change. But...

On the downside, the course was overgrown to the point of being almost unplayable. The fields were covered with grass up to 7 feet tall* and the blackberries and other pricklies thankfully only claimed one disc*. In spring there is an issue with soggy ground, so when is the best time to play this course has yet to be determined. But still, tromping around with friends is always a good time.
Tuesday July 22 2008File under: misc, pics

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Quote for Monday 3

Today, I'm sharing 2 quotes, for a couple reasons. For one, they are both from the same author, one from a book I am currently reading and one from a book I read a while back. Also both are a little contextual, so it is possible that they won't be as inspiring to the masses* as they are to me. I figure having two quotes might make up for that. (As a side note, I really enjoy reading Laurence Shames. He's kind of like your typical south Florida writer with tropical settings, action packed plots, and a fun and funny writing style, but he also has some great insights and quotes. If you are looking for a light and fun summer read, check him out.)

"Life was a matter of holding back or plunging in. It was like that at each and every momnent, but there were only rare occasions when the choice came quite so clear"
-Laurence Shames in Mangrove Squeeze

That was.....vacation, an allowed and strictly bordered break bewteen vast tracts of duty and routine.
-Laurence Shame in Virgin Heat
Monday July 21 2008File under: quote

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Stuff and Music


Anacortes has its fair share of festivals: Arts [& Crafts], Waterfront, Jazz, and Oyster Run just to name a few. My favorite, however, is the one-two combo of Shipwreck Day and What the Heck Fest*.

Shipwreck Day is essentially a large flea market/yard sale that takes over downtown. They close off the main drag and people bring out their crap stuff to try to offload on unsuspecting "deal hunters". This year I didn't make it down early enough to snag any of the real good deals, but I heard of a couple steals. But along with the deals and steals, there are bucket loads of Chinese-made plastic crap that is not new, but destined for a used table in the near future (if it survives that long). *

What the Heck Fest is the epitome of a hipster music festival, which I say in the fondest way possible. Bands, both local and not, descend on Anacortes with their ragtag fans in tow. Tents start popping up in front lawns, bicycle racks fill up, and the Keds density increase 100 fold. But it is a good time with bands at bars and all ages venues around town all weekend.

This year, as with many recent years, has been the one weekend a year when I'm out to close down the bars*. New [non-retired aged] people are in from out of town which makes for some great mingling. Old friends (or younger siblings of friends*) grace the scene with their presence. In general, it is a good weekend to be out on the town.
Sunday July 20 2008File under: Anacortes

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FC 41 - Its Whats For Dinner

The past two comics have been geared towards certain people. My hope is that larger audiences can appreciate them, but at their heart, they are kind of like inside jokes with a specific person (whether that person knows about it or not). This week is keeping with that tradition.

Deanna delivered this comic last Thursday and I just about stopped the presses on the comic I was working on and moved this one to the front of the queue because I liked it so much. While I still really like how it turned out after I did my captioning and coloring, the original pen and ink drawing by itself is just too precious. I'd be glad to sell the rights for publication to PETA...if the price is right. (Don't worry Deanna, I'll totally go 50/50 with you*.)
Thursday July 17 2008File under: comic

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Counter-Quote for Wednesday

Yeah, yeah, so I neglected to post a quote this Monday. I was all caught up in the excitement of sleeping in the pop-top of a VW van*. Plus, I figure posts about actual happenings in my life should take precedence over filler posts. But since there isn't anything happening in my life now, I will resort to good old filler. (Hopefully next week we'll be back on track with Monday quotes.)

While spreading the word of Despair, Inc. today, I ran across another great source for counter-quotes, that is quotes that are meant to sound inspirational, profound, motivational, etc. but aren't so much. Ashleigh Brilliant has an awesome name but a horrible website. Still, if you wade deep enough, you'll come across such gems as "I try to take it one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once", "When I find true wisdom, I'll let you know (if letting you know still seems important)", and "Any day is a good day to have a mother". But since I should probably choose one in particular to encapsulate my mood on this Wednesday, I'll choose this:

"There's only one thing more beautiful than a beautiful dream, and that's a beautiful reality."
Wednesday July 16 2008File under: quote

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Oregon Country Fair 2008



The word I've most often been using to describe the Oregon Country Fair (which I attended this weekend) is "magic". Others include: body paint, juggling, dressed in drag, food(!), uninhibited (or not dressed at all), art, impossible, music, good people, harmony, fantastical, freedom, and HOT. If you've never been, you should go and experience it. Words and pictures cannot do it justice.

But the fair was only part of the adventure. Transportation for the weekend was a pop-top '77 VW bus, crammed with 2 more people than seat belts. At the first stop, 30 minutes into the long drive, we realized the starter didn't work. Luckily my childhood provided much wisdom and know-how regarding push starting a VW bus which came in handy the rest of the weekend*. Long, late-night drives, sleeping in a rest area, and running out of gas only added to the adventure of it all.
Monday July 14 2008File under: pics, misc

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What is it

One of my favorite non-personal blogs, Neatorama, has a sometimes feature of "What is it?". It is exactly what you might imagine: from pictures, you gotta decide what it is.

There has been an it lying around our house for a while that has us quite perplexed. I've done some research as to what it is, but have so far been thwarted. Then I figured, why not open it up to everyone to play along. Here are some pictures: 1, 2, 3. If you can't tell from the picture, the logo reads "Rex" with "Made in Finland" below. The metal spikes on the inside are angled downwards and towards the upturned tip. The two tags read "105208, $4.00" in handwritten script and "Devil's Thumb, $4.00", neither of which I think have anything to do with it's origin.

Anyway, if anyone thinks they've got a clue to what it is, post it in the comments. If you have a source to prove you're right, you will be reigning champion...OF THE WORLD*!

(I know the title/headline to this post should have a question mark, but whoever wrote this crappy blog software doesn't properly encode headlines, so it will have to remain an implied question mark.)
Saturday July 12 2008File under: misc, contest

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FC 40 - That Darn Economy

It's funny how there are whole sub-cultures out there that, if you aren't exposed to them, you know nothing about, but when you find yourself aware of them, you notice them everywhere. I guess that is all part of expanding your mind-brain. But that's just an aside.

This week's comic is a product Paint Shop Pro 5.0 with yours truly at the helm. I feel like my technical skillz with the program are improving, which is nice. While I can't compete with the photoshop masters out there, I'm figuring out quicker and easier ways to accomplish the tasks I want (distorting, tweaking coloring on only a portion of an image, etc. etc.). Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

(P.S. Sean, this comic is mostly for you. I figure you might get a chuckle even if no one else does.)
Friday July 11 2008File under: comic

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Mathematical Mythbusting

Two occasions recently have had me pondering the speed of sound. The first such occasion was a lightening storm, of which we have very few here in the rain shadow of the Cascades. Lightening and thunder filled the sky all evening and into the night. Secondly, as I mentioned in my previous post, I watched the fireworks from a significant distance, which had an influence not only on the volume of the bang, but also on the delay.

In talking to people (esp. about the lightening, although I don't see what it wouldn't also apply to the fireworks), the rule of 1 second between sight and sound equals one mile of distance to said sight was oft cited. I myself used this rule in my early days. This time around, however, I got a little curious about that rule of thumb and wanted to run the numbers. Perhaps to your surprise, the rule isn't so accurate. Observe*:
Givens
Speed of SoundSs = 761 mph (or .2 miles per second)
Speed of LightSc = 670,616,629 mph (or 186,282 miles per second)
System of equations
Time it takes light to reach you tc = d/Sc
Time it takes sound to reach youts = d/Ss
Time elapsed between light and soundte = ts -tc
Solving
Solving for tctc = ts - te
Replacing for tc and tsd/Ss - te = d/Sc
Moving stuff aroundd/Ss - d/Sc = te
Factoring for dd(1/Ss - 1/Sc) = te
Solve for dd = te / (1/Ss - 1/Sc)
Plugging givens back in (using miles per second)d = te / (5 - .000001*)

This shows that instead of every one second between lightening and thunder equating to one mile, every 5 seconds equals to a mile. So next time you hear that thunder 5 seconds after the lightening, don't go rushing outside thinking you've got a 5 mile buffer because it's a lot closer than you think.
Thursday July 10 2008File under: misc

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